From Rivals to Co-Parents
The Man I Was:
“You’ve been served!” I could only imagine the look on my soon-to-be ex-wife’s face when the processor served her divorce papers at work, that Spring day in 1995. The anticipation excited me while waiting for the confirmation that she’d been served. But I hadn’t always been this mean. In fact, I surprised myself in being capable of such hostility, but a failed marriage with custody issues over our daughter brought out the worse in me. My self-righteous attitude made an already complicated matter messy for everyone involved.
To get the whole picture you’ll need to return with me to 1991 when we found out that she was pregnant. Usually, a pregnancy brings couples together as they celebrate the new life being created. For us, it was an unplanned, and it set in. motion a series of events that would shape our lives for the next 30 years.
I was living in New York City pursuing my career as an actor/model, when I found out my girlfriend in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was pregnant. We discussed our options and decided to keep the child—I’d put my career on hold and return to Virginia. Within a few months we decided to get married and give this whole “starting a family’ thing a shot. All at once, we were navigating the foreign waters of marriage, new careers, and parenting.
I must confess we really believed we could make it work. After maternity leave, my wife returned to work and I became a stay-at-home dad, while working nights waiting tables. It wasn’t a glamorous life (like the one I’d left behind), but being a dad made it all worth it.
Looking back, I retain a lot of great memories. Just the other night, at my daughter, Jessica’s apartment, her mom and I reminisced through a whole bin of photos from those early years and savored the memories.
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